Google has a bevy of new features coming to Android soon, including new widgets for YouTube Music, Google Play Books, and Google Photos; new Android Auto features; and updates for Google Assistant and Google Photos. The company detailed the news in a blog post.
The biggest car-based addition is that starting today, Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21 owners will be able to use their phones as a car key with “compatible BMW vehicles” in select countries. Google announced that it was working on the car key feature for Android 12 in May, specifically citing BMW as one of the manufacturers it would work with. Google says the feature will be available “on all 2020 and 2022 BMW model vehicles” and that it hopes to add more compatible vehicles in the future.
Other new Android Auto features coming soon include an option for the car-friendly interface to start automatically when an Android phone is connected to the vehicle, a new play button on the home screen to start music playback with a “single tap”, a new search icon to find music quickly, and new smart reply options for text messages.
New widgets will also arrive on the Android phone screen for the YouTube Music, Google Play Books and Google Photos applications. The music widget offers playback controls and access to recently played tracks, while the books widget offers shortcuts to your library. There is also a new Google Photos widget launching next week that can be configured to specifically display images of people and pets selected from your library. In addition to a new widget, Google Photos’ Memories feature will also start displaying selected photos and videos from events like New Year’s Eve within the standard photo grid interface.
Google’s “Family Bell” feature, its alarm-like reminder system that can be broadcast from smart speakers and displays, is also being updated to work on mobile devices.
Finally, Google has also provided an update on the release of its new permission reset feature on older Android phones, which automatically turns off permissions for apps that you haven’t used in a while. The feature is already available for devices running Android 11 and above, but will now be expanded to devices running Android 6 onwards “starting next month,” the company says, signaling a January release. He previously said that the expansion would start rolling out in December.
As is typical with these types of Google feature drops, these new options are released in a variety of different time frames, ranging from “today” for the key BMW car feature to “next months” for search by. Android Auto voice and smart responses. features.